this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


A little hello…and my first trendy #TBT post

Greetings to anyone who is still hovering around my blog despite my protracted absence…! How are you all?

My little toddler was singing to herself in her cot as I was reading this article. I was getting ready to give up on the idea of her napping today, when she unexpectedly fell asleep….so I though I’d write a little bit of a response to the article – a little peek into what I went through in the early days of unintentionally abandoning this blog space. I know I never set strict confines for the subject matter of this blog, and this is a personal post. However, I’m aware that many of you may not find the topic relevant or interesting. Please feel free to move swiftly onto something else if so, but I hope you are still doing well in your corner of the world, wherever you are passing by from!

In the meantime, for those of you on Instagram, I have recently joined so that I can have some sort of creative outlet… I’m there under @thisislemonade – hope to hear from you!

I miss you all! <3

* * *

My, now very healthy, greedy little toddler, struggled to feed in the early days and was quite severely jaundiced at birth. The doctors could not tell whether her difficulties with feeding caused the jaundice, or the jaundice affected her desire to feed.. either way, it was a very stressful few months at the beginning as she also suffered from reflux and cried a lot needing to be held and refusing to settle to sleep on her own. Looking back, I now recognise the myriad of mistakes I made in terms of attempting to breastfeed, not helped by the seemingly thousands of different changing suggestions and instructions from different health professionals and concerned family members or friends during my most vulnerable time after having given birth.

She is now almost 18 months old and I am able to read about breastfeeding without suffering pangs of regret all the time. I am currently looking back to look forward…..

* * *

After many weeks of struggling with pain, doubt and expressions of concern all around, I finally managed to achieve a couple of days of exclusive breastfeeding – still with some pain, but my baby was starting to really gain weight and seemed to be doing a lot better.

I will never forget the single incident that completely shattered my confidence, which was of course very fragile at the time… I had been banking on an endorsement from my GP to help give assurance to those around, who were concerned for the effects of my struggle to breastfeed on the health of my baby. We were due a weigh-in and check up… I arrived in his office and sat down, triumphantly announced that I was now 100% breastfeeding:


He had been very supportive of my efforts up to that point, but had thoroughly endorsed mixed feeding. His own sister, in his words “supplemented formula with breast milk” – she struggled to breastfeed exclusively and managed to get around it by giving baby some formula first, and then nursing at the breast. My GP could not understand why I wanted to put myself through the struggle to exclusively breastfeed and became concerned I would not manage it.

The grief and remorse I felt at eventually having to give up breastfeeding at 10 weeks has subsided very gradually over the past 15 months or so. I finally had to stop, because in spite of attending every breastfeeding clinic and cafe I could find, the pain was just inexplicable and became physically and mentally unbearable.

By the dawn of 2016, I am hoping that I will have been given another chance to try again. Apart from the fact that not having to sterilise bottles seemingly incessantly has always been a great incentive, I’ve always wanted to breastfeed because it is just the most natural instinct for me as a mother. I know not all women feel the same, and I personally don’t feel the need to preach to those around me that “breast is best” because in my social circles at least, there is enough information out there being promoted by health professionals and so on. Some mothers I know have their own pragmatic reasons for not breastfeeding and enough have struggled and have been unable to overcome difficulties with breastfeeding without everyone reminding them of how they “failed”.

But I hope that, given my previous experience, I will at least be armed with more confidence and have a clearer idea of what not to do next time. And this time, I’ve also put my foot down and refused any visitors in the first few weeks who I know will not be supportive. It’s not easy, but it’s what I have to do to give us a fighting chance. Although I don’t intend it to be a fight… I hope it will not have to be….


Rain, rain go away…

Although there has been a fair bit of rain, with the occasional accompanying thunder and lightening, I refuse to accept that summer is over quite yet. We’ve only had about three weeks of sunshine and heat!

So, in an act of defiance I have been busy eating last night’s pasta as today’s cold pasta salad lunch with a purposeful addition of cool cucumber and cheering cherry tomatoes! What better accompaniment than a recent thirst-quenching pin!

Pasta salad

Here’s another leftovers makeover

I’m glad to see some blue skies and fluffy clouds now. A bit of rain does the garden good. The yellow-brown grass is happily reviving a little. Unusual climactic activities are doing unsettling things however here and here. And in the event that you encounter the latter, further advice can be found here.

Have a happy Tuesday evening! I hope you find some space to enjoy a bit of slow time ;)

Getting to know you!


Snickers More Nuts Limited Edition

I don’t really eat chocolate bars. I find them too sweet. I’m a dark chocolate girl, so generally speaking, the chocolate bar section in the supermarket doesn’t draw me in. But this week, I found myself vulnerable whilst grocery shopping.

I was hungry.

And the power aisle snickered at me, grabbing me with a limited edition chocolate bar. “£1 only” for a pack of four More Nuts or More Caramel? D’uh. If I wanted more caramel, I’d buy a Mars Bar and I never do that of my own free will. So something in the pit of my stomach made me raise my hand to the shelf and put a pack of the above in my shopping trolley.

It’s the end of the week. Time to let go a little, raise a glass of the bubbly stuff. I wanted to thank you all for your support and encouragement. The week has been more than manageable punctuated with some really thoughtful comments at the ends of my posts that have really lifted me.  And seeing as we’re friends now (I hope I’m not being presumptuous), I was wondering… are you nuts like me or more nice and sweet? :)


Wotta lotta spam… or yarn?

Seeing as it’s Friday… I wanted to share what I was chuckling over at the end of last week before I stumbled across this Freshly Pressed post on the subject of spam, which demonstrated that there is more than just the Internet that connects us all. Yes, I shared the exact same spammer with Nathan Badley of not-so-fleeting Freshly Pressedom fame (it appears that he’s been efFPeed more than twice). We received the same fascinating message which left us similarly flummoxed over a reference to “brussels”.

Aaaanyway, I digress. I had read that message in my spam folder briefly, sniggered and then moved on. Because there was a more intriguing and amusing message that caught my eye. Its brevity and the tone of unmistakeable incredulity drew my attention and held it there: apparently I have a devoted fan that I have been so remiss as to have overlooked a number of times, to my detriment. I really must check my spam more often…

SpamalotI Google’d SCK and found no conclusive evidence as to the identity of this elusive person. But after some soul-searching and remorse I realised that the random combination of letters and numbers supplied by my mysterious visitor in the place of a name, was designed to put me off the scent. And in view of my recent obsessions that could only mean one thing: my blog had been graced by the presence of the  SUPER COOL KNITTER.

SCK I am truly1 sorry, please come back and share your wisdom with all of us. It is my fault alone, please don’t hold my negligence against my readers also. Winter is approaching (or has already approached, crept up by the door and started huffing and puffing through every little tiny unprotected sliver *shiver*). Those of us whose hair Winter has already ruffled and whose cheeks she has already chafed, would really love to wrap up warm in hand knitted scarves, jumpers and throws. It would be truly cool but not cold, if we could share knitting tips… you must have quite a treasure trove of them if you have made over four million attempts at catching my attention.

Ho Ho Ho (oops, sorry, too early… and fictional) hahaha. There. What a silly lot of ramblings. But these random things entered my mind when I saw that silly piece of spam.

I wish you a light-hearted weekend, perhaps accompanied by a bubbly glass of (cue drumroll) freshly pressed lemonade. For many, it may be a slightly tart and sharp glass of the stuff… but still refreshing in some way, I hope.

1 OK, perhaps my final paragraph would suggest that I am not nearly as sincere in my sentiments towards SCK as I am trying to suggest here. But I am cheered by the ingenious spam message. Direct and to the point ;)


Monday blues and the British weather…

It is truly autumn here in London, although some would call it winter. Even though the sun really worked hard all day Friday and the skies were a beautiful gorgeous blue, it was cold.

Monday Blues

There was real drama in the colours and the clouds were truly amazing. But it was cold. In fact, it was chilly indoors. Not just out.

Monday Blues

I was thinking about my blog and some line about the weather was about to enter my head. I was wondering how often this happens to people who are not British. On our beautiful isles, the weather plays such an important role that we watch it with huge interest. We devote very artfully crafted pieces of journalism to describing the minute changes in temperature, movements of air pressure, currents of warm or cold air travelling over our little island from neighbouring land masses. Weather forecasters are household names. No one has forgotten the legendary Michael Fish have they?

From one day to the next, the weather can change drastically, affecting everyone’s mood and influencing simple decisions. My colleagues will watch the clouds as lunchtime approaches and decide whether or not to dive out early to buy food before a downpour is unleashed. While I, on the other hand, prefer to bring my lunch so I do not have to worry. The quality of the light coming through the windows changes dramatically with the weather. A peek of sunshine and the whole place feels brighter, lighter, happier… grey clouds make you feel more tired, more gloomy, lethargic. Rain makes you wish you never got out of bed in the morning at all.

Otis redding – sittin on the dock of the bay (link via Soundcloud) 

Well. It’s Monday again. After the wettest summer for a century or so apparently, in spite of the beautiful Olympic and Paralympic sunshine (lest we forget) it’s now crisp and cold. Some days we have had the beautiful sunny skies that we enjoyed this weekend, but mostly it’s been wet and miserable. I’m officially in denial and playing a different soundtrack to nature. Also, work’s been a bit weird lately. “Looks like nothing’s gonna change…” so I’m thinking of making some changes myself  – instead of stressing, I’m chillin’ today…

Does the weather have as great an influence on your part of the world? Does it affect your mood as much as it can mine I wonder?


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What are you looking forward to today?

I wasn’t brought up on McDonalds or any fast food options that are so readily available today. McDonalds was an extremely inefficient way to spend the family’s limited resources. In fact, it still is today in most European cities. A standard meal in London is definitely not cheap.

I do still treat McDonalds like a special treat now in adulthood. It always feels special to bite into their “French Fries” and I feel lazy and overindulgent if I eat there more than once in a while.

But let me not hide the fact that I am almost due another free tea…I guard my sticker cards as though they were real currency. Each time I get a cup of tea, I don’t relax until I have safely added the sticker to the collection in my purse. I’m not usually partial to fizzy drinks because they make me feel bloated (although I do always make an exception for a nice cloudy lemonade). However, eating a McDonalds meal with a cup of tea definitely feels very civilised and grown up.





My favourite sauce. Not only do I like the taste, I love the recent update in packaging. The hot pink makes me happy!

So today, I am not sharing anything particularly creative with you (although I have something fun I can’t wait to show and tell soon). I am simply going to confess that I’m really looking forward to going window shopping and having a McDonalds meal of some sort after work tonight. And…if you see some girl standing in front of the menu for ages, unable to decide what to get, that could possibly be me. It often gets to the point where the staff behind the counter have given up calling out to me and are just looking at me funny. It is supposed to be fast food after all…except that it is never fast on my end. I am still that little girl for whom eating fast food counts as a special treat :-)

What are your simple, special treats?


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